Tata Martino has revealed he will ‘always’ vote for Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or, but adds the forward must be calm in his quest to find form.
The 51-year-old coached Messi at Barcelona last season, but having since left Camp Nou and been named as Alejandro Sabella’s successor in charge of Argentina, the trainer has been able to continue working with the No. 10.
With the award for the best player of 2014 fast approaching, Martino insists he will always back the Barca star and is adamant that his protégé will eventually succeed in rediscovering his ‘extra-terrestrial’ ability on the pitch.
“I’ll always vote for Messi in the Ballon d'Or. I expressed to him that he looked too preoccupied with finding his best form, although I'm convinced he will,” he told AFP.
“Surely he is still thinking about that. The two goals [against Ajax] and [equalling Raul’s] record will have helped him mentally, but he will continue to insist on finding the level that made him the best.
“A Coach once said that ‘in all the land, he was the best’, but he was let free because he was an extra-terrestrial. He’ll be looking to match that extra-terrestrial level.
“Messi will continue to break records. It’s a pleasure that he’s Argentine, as Leo is the top scorer in the Champions League. On the basis that Barcelona improve, he will also continue to improve.
“By the time he stops breaking records, it'll be a weight off his shoulders.”